As a formerly VERY anxious person, who used to take everything way too seriously (hence why I had the anxiety), life was hard. I was way too concerned about everything: my grades, my job, how my peers or co-workers perceived me, my relationships – all I could focus on was my problems in those areas. And that was just the normal life stresses, I also had crazy anxiety when it came to germs and other random fears that my obsessive, compulsive brain had.
Just want to let ya know: The information and tips on this website are from my personal experience with anxiety and are not a substitute for any type of medical, psychological or health advice. My goal is to empower people struggling with anxiety in non-traditional ways that they can do alongside professional help.
There is always help out there, and you can find a mental health professional locally, through your doctor, or through an online directory like this one. This is a link to a great article with affordable therapy options and this is an affiliate link to a great online therapy option. If you are in a crisis, there’s a list of help hotlines here. You are not alone!!
How Being Too Serious Affected My Anxiety
I found that sometimes, especially in social or work situations (basically situations that involved dealing with people), I would get super anxious and super serious about how people perceived me or my ideas. Or, regarding my other random fears, I would believe that the end of the world was coming.
I would start overthinking these situations that honestly weren’t that important, and then I would generally make them worse because my anxious brain (which is not so great at thinking logically) would overthink and create a bigger (and made-up ) problem or make a poor decision, which would then make the whole situation worse.
Basically, I was just way too serious about everything, and it caused problems.
This can happen with anything that you’re anxious about: you become so serious and get so caught up in your anxious thoughts and trying to fix the situation, that it takes up too much of your time and energy and you end up just making everything worse.
Enter the easiest and best solution to stopping this anxiety and negative cycle.
Start trying to find the fun or just have fun in general!
More Time For Fun = Less Time For Anxiety
Trying to incorporate more things that are fun into your life will leave less time for anxiousness.
If you start doing more things that you enjoy, such as adding a fun class into your routine or trying to just have more fun with the people in your life, you will lessen the space in your brain that you generally reserve for anxiety!
Finding Fun In Social Situations
This is especially helpful in social situations for those of you with some social anxiety!
If you start looking at all your interactions from the perspective of having more fun, you will:
1) have more fun (duh!)
2) have a better attitude when things start to not go as well as you had planned
For example: if someone pokes fun at you, instead of getting anxious about it and all self-conscious, make fun of yourself too! It can be super funny and shows that you don’t take yourself too seriously.
Other Examples of Situations Where You Can Find the Fun
Let’s say that you are anxious about money.
If you have general anxiety that you can’t quite tie to a reason
Finding the Fun Can Help in Other Areas of Life Too
One last example of how finding the fun will just make your life better:
This is something from my life that I always do and it always lightens the mood and just makes things better.
Whenever I’m back home with my parents and my mom gets mad at me (and my dad) for a silly reason (like not something that we actually did wrong), instead of getting defensive and causing a worse situation, my dad and I just turn to each other and laugh (because usually it’s something random and kind of silly).
Honestly, as soon as we start laughing about it, my mom realizes that she’s being kind of unreasonable and then she laughs too. This simple thing has improved our family dynamic a ton and this is something that can definitely be used when dealing with people.
This obviously won’t work in every situation, because not everyone will appreciate being laughed at (even if it’s in good fun). But, this will work for so many situations – if there is something that is unreasonably difficult and really shouldn’t be as bad and annoying as it is, sometimes you just have to laugh at how ridiculous the situation is, and then just face it with a good attitude.
Why Finding The Fun Works
Even just starting to implement this attitude, you will rewire your brain to start thinking about situations more positively.
Over time, you will have developed a habit of taking things less seriously, reducing the amount of anxious thoughts you might have, and then you might have some fun along the way!
Adding To Your Mental Health Toolbox
And I want to make it clear that there are so many factors that influence your mental health and can fuel your anxiety or make it better, but this is one of those things to remember that will just end up increasing your mood and will help you stop taking things so seriously.
Honestly, that was so huge for me when I was healing my mental health. I had to realize that if I wanted to beat my anxiety and start healing, I needed to WANT to be happy. I needed to actionably start working on being happier. And a great way to do that is in finding the fun.
I have also included a meal plan and exercise ideas that are great for your mental health (because honestly, diet and exercise are a lot more important in helping your mental health than you might think).